We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
I personally feel like diabetes affects me more emotionally than physically. High and low blood sugars have specific ways to treat them, if you are high give yourself insulin; if you are low, eat carbs. The longer term physical components of diabetes like complications are checked pretty often as well-yearly eye exams looking for retinopathy, foot checks at endocrinologist every year to check for neuropathy, etc. But who is checking for the mental component? Even if you are struggling with diabetes burnout, your endocrinologist won’t ask you what’s going on emotionally with you, they will just say you need to do a better job carb counting or bolusing.
So, how do we cope with the mental aspect? With wine! Just kidding, well sort of. There was actually a similar topic back in 2014’s Diabetes Blog Week and that was pre-pregnancy, pre-baby and I wrote about how I dealt with it here. Since I am now 29 weeks pregnant, running 5 miles isn’t really at the top of my list of activities to help get me out of a funk.
I have found the best way of dealing with the mental side is being a part of the Diabetes Online Community. Through diabetes blogs, Twitter, and Facebook diabetes-related groups, I have found a great support system and outlet for when I need to vent or get advice or hear about how other people are dealing with similar issues.
As I mentioned above, this topic was similar to a topic from 2014. In 2014, I read a blog post from Lesley at Principles of Uncertainty, where she had a mantra that has stuck with me, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good”. She does a great job explaining the quote but basically don’t let trying to be the perfect diabetic create problems when you can be happy being a good diabetic. I have found this to be especially true while pregnant. I am striving so hard to have my pre-meal blood sugars between 60-90 and not spiking past 140 and that it’s causing a ton of guilt and stress when I’m not in those areas. Now, I’m not saying I should say screw it to those recommendations but I need to not put as much pressure on myself if I have a slip up from time to time.